4 Monterey Peninsula itineraries that add up to one round at Pebble Beach Golf Links

A round at Pebble Beach costs $575. Too much for one round? Spread it around to these area options.
Just around the corner from Pebble Beach is Pacific Grove, which can be played by non-residents for about $50-70 walking and features an oceanfront back nine.

Pebble Beach Golf Links, widely recognized as the country's most coveted public round of golf, recently raised its green fees in 2020 to $575.

They charge it because they can get it. In fact, consider they are typically booked solid and the fact other courses in the country are even more expensive, there is a very real case to be made that it remains "underpriced."

Whether or not you think Pebble Beach is a "value" at this price is an endless debate that tends to come up on social media whenever the course hosts the PGA Tour's AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am or U.S. Open.

Before you declare a visit out of reach, it is important to remember that the Monterey Peninsula is a golf mecca that goes well beyond the four resort courses at Pebble Beach. Even if you think that $575 is too much for one round of golf, you should still make the time to plan a golf trip here and skip Pebble. Yes, skip it! The rich golf culture and aura spills over into just about any area course. Pebble Beach Resorts welcomes all kinds of tourists to their property. You can stroll around the 18th hole and hang out at the lodge or visitors center. The 17-mile drive is a national treasure for golfers and non-golfers alike and goes quite literally through Cypress Point and Monterey Peninsula Country Club.

I'll let you decide if $575 is worth paying for Pebble. But I can unequivocally say that regardless if you pay it or not, you should still visit the Monterey Peninsula. I collaborated with our NoCal expert Jason Deegan to concoct four alternate, "Non-Pebble Beach, Pebble Beach" itineraries.

Editor's Note: Dynamic pricing is commonplace around Northern California and so are local or state discounts. I am going with posted rack rate, non-resident (walking when applicable) green fees where possible or current average posted tee times. Click here to learn more about lodging options for golfers around the Monterey Peninsula.

Pebble Beach Itinerary 1: Best on a budget

Santa Cruz, California
Semi-Private
4.6520705882
245
Pacific Grove, California
Public
4.2655
904

4 rounds: Pasatiempo ($275), Bayonet & Black Horse ($210 36-hole rate), Pacific Grove ($74)

This would likely be my first option of the non-Pebble Pebble Itineraries. Three tournament-tested, well-regarded and maintained courses. Pasatiempo, located about an hour's drive north in Santa Cruz, is regarded as Alister Mackenzie's best publicly-accessible golf course. Closer to Monterey in Seaside, Bayonet & Black Horse, meanwhile, is a superb 36-hole facility with two demanding, scenic and well-maintained courses on the former Fort Ord property.

You'll have just enough cash to finish up on the "Poor Man's Pebble Beach" of Pacific Grove, which has a fun, linksy back nine overlooking the ocean along 17-mile drive.

Pebble Beach Itinerary 2: Taste of 17-Mile Drive

Pebble Beach, California
Resort
4.0661764706
20
Pebble Beach, California
Public
4.2184117647
189
Pacific Grove, California
Public
4.2655
904

3 rounds: Links at Spanish Bay ($295), Poppy Hills ($250), Pacific Grove ($74).

We cheat when we add Pasatiempo to Pebble itineraries; it's a solid hour by car from the peninsula. So this itinerary showcases some very different layouts all within 17-Mile Drive and includes one Pebble Beach Resorts course.

Spanish Bay is the third fiddle at the resort and your best bet for oceanside resort golf with a little change to spare. Everyone loves the scenery, not everyone loves the layout, which is linksy but constricted by many environmental areas. You be the judge. Then, play the NCGA's Poppy Hills for $250, a secluded, inland layout through tall Monterey pines, and you've got just enough for Pacific Grove at $74 and perhaps a glass of wine at the Lodge at Pebble Beach at sunset.

It's also worth mentioning that the new Tiger Woods' par-3 course replacing the Peter Hay Golf Course at Pebble Beach is under construction and while fees haven't been revealed, it could possibly be in the $50-75 range.

Pebble Beach Itinerary 3: The golf junkie

Monterey, California
Public/Military
4.3370823529
846
Carmel, California
Resort
4.7495411765
233
Monterey, California
Public
3.7971352941
897
Pacific Grove, California
Public
4.2655
904
Pebble Beach, California
Public
4.2184117647
189
Pebble Beach, California
Resort
3.8823529412
5

7 rounds: Bayonet & Black Horse, ($210 for 36 holes), Pacific Grove ($70), Monterey Pines ($40), Poppy Hills ($75 twilight), Laguna Seca ($50), Quail Lodge ($120 twilight)

This is for the golfer who wants to play as much golf as they can in Monterey Peninsula and all the best value golf around Pebble Beach. While Poppy Hills caters to its NCGA members with low green fees, non-residents can get on for a fraction of the rack rate after 3:30pm ($75) and hopefully manage 18 holes before dark in the summer months.

Monterey Pines is a short, but popular military facility open to civilian play that plays about 5,600 yards. We prefer the twilight rate at Quail Lodge at $120 over Pebble's historic Del Monte Golf Course at $110. Lastly, you can find more golf in nearby Salinas at Laguna Seca or Salinas Fairways. Consider these bargain options on your way in or out of the peninsula.

Pebble Beach Itinerary 4: Bay Area roadie

Half Moon Bay, California
Public
4.9615333333
15
Santa Cruz, California
Semi-Private
4.6520705882
245

Half Moon Bay Ocean Course ($155 1 p.m. tee time), Pasatiempo ($275), Bayonet or Black Horse ($90-155).

You're probably going to fly into one of the Bay Area's three major commercial airports to visit Monterey Peninsula. So you may as well make it a golf road trip down the coast. While Half Moon Bay is near SFO airport and on the way to Monterey, you could also detour up to PGA Championship host TPC Harding Park. The municipal has non-resident rates ranging from about $125-250 depending on the day and time.

So there are your best options for more golf for the same price as Pebble Beach. Still want to play the real deal? Check out this package that includes lodging at the resort, golf at Pebble, Pasatiempo and more:

FROM $1117 (USD)
MONTEREY, CA | Enjoy 3 nights' accommodations at The Lodge at Pebble Beach™ and 4 rounds of golf at Pebble Beach Golf Links™, Spyglass Hill™, Pasatiempo & Bayonet Golf Courses.
Ultimate Itinerary: Pebble Beach

Brandon Tucker is the Sr. Managing Editor for GolfPass and was the founding editor of Golf Advisor in 2014, he was the managing editor for Golf Channel Digital's Courses & Travel. To date, his golf travels have taken him to over two dozen countries and nearly 600 golf courses worldwide. While he's played some of the most prestigious courses in the world, Tucker's favorite way to play the game is on a great muni in under three hours. Follow Brandon on Twitter at @BrandonTucker and on Instagram at @btuck34.
1 Comments
Commented on

Getting ready for a Monterey golf trip in March, and Pebble Beach is not in the conversation. We are hitting Blackhorse, Bayonet, Pacific Grove and Delaveaga, the other cool course in Santa Cruz. Together, the green fees on all of these courses are about $350 and still $225 short of the one-time fee at Pebble. That leaves us some mad money for bets, drinks and any other frivolities we can find in that beautiful area.
I am still amazed that Blackhorse and Bayonet are not sold out for the next several years. Those courses remain, in my view, the best golf values on the planet.

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4 Monterey Peninsula itineraries that add up to one round at Pebble Beach Golf Links